In Hot Springs, South Dakota, probate is a legal procedure that a court must go through before giving effect to a will. Before putting a will into effect, a court has to determine that it is valid.
As part of this process, the Hot Springs, South Dakota probate court will determine the validity of the will, inventory the decedent's assets and debts, and then, finally, distribute the estate according to the will, assuming it is found to be valid.
Normally, the executor of the estate is named in the will. However, if nobody is named as an executor, the probate court in Hot Springs, South Dakota will appoint an administrator to serve the role as the executor. This is normally the closest adult relative of the decedent, or the person who stands to inherit the most.
Because the executor is responsible for really initiating probate proceedings and seeing them to completion, the person chosen for this role is often the one who stands to inherit the most from the will - giving them an incentive to put in the necessary time and effort.
Duties of the Executor in Hot Springs, South Dakota
The executor has many duties concerning the will. First of all, they have to actually initiate the probate proceedings with the court, and this procedure has to be completed before the will takes effect.
Furthermore, it's the executor's job to notify all interested parties that the person who made the will has died. "Interested parties" are typically people who are named in the will, or who would inherit the estate if the decedent had died without a will.
If the decedent was even moderately well-off financially, it's likely that they'll have considerable amounts of both debts and assets. The executor is tasked with formulating an accurate accounting of the debts and assets of the estate, so as much of the decedent's debts can be paid off as possible.
As the representative of the estate, the executor has to take charge of the probate process, filing the required court papers, and, if necessary, hiring an attorney for assistance. If the estate is large, and the executor stands to inherit a great deal of money once this process is fulfilled, they'll probably find it to be worth the time and expense.
How Can A Hot Springs, South Dakota Lawyer Help?
Because this can be (though isn't always) a fairly difficult process, it's a good idea to get a brilliant probate lawyer in Hot Springs, South Dakota, especially if you find yourself being the executor of an estate, and aren't sure how to proceed.